Title page for ETD etd-08142012-110803


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Rainer, Paula L
Author's Email Address prainer@vt.edu
URN etd-08142012-110803
Title Students with Disabilities Who Contact the School Counselor for College Information
Degree PhD
Department Counselor Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Brott, Pamelia E. Committee Chair
Bunch-Lyons, Beverly Committee Member
Glenn, William J. Committee Member
Murphy, Pamela Committee Member
Keywords
  • self-determination
  • college information
  • students with disabilities
  • school counselors
Date of Defense 2012-08-06
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of students with disabilities who contact the school counselor for college information. Self-determination was the theoretical framework guiding this study. Self-determination refers to a student’s ability to (a) act autonomously, (b) identify goals, (c) engage in problem solving activities, (d) appraise strengths and limitations, and (e) capitalize on opportunities. The current study used the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002), a nationally representative database that tracks high school students as they transition from high school to postsecondary options.

The dependent variable was whether the student went to the school counselor for college information. The independent variables included student characteristics (i.e., sex, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability type, self-determination) and school characteristics (i.e., school enrollment, number of school counselors). This study has conveyed significant information about the relationship between students with disabilities and professional school counselors.

The results of this study provided a wealth of information about students with disabilities who contacted the school counselor for college information. This results marks the first time research addressed the characteristics of students with disabilities who visited the school counselor for college information by utilizing the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002). The recommendations to school counselors as a result of this research are to develop comprehensive school counseling programs that embody the characteristics of students with disabilities. One logistic regression model was conducted to determine the influence of sex, race, socioeconomic status, disability type, and self-determination on whether students with disabilities were likely to visit the counselor for college information. Predicted odds were calculated to demonstrate the statistically significant, predictive quality of the variables on visiting the counselor for college information. The theoretical framework of self-determination demonstrated an important relationship in whether the student visited the counselor for college information. Finally, a Pearson correlation (r) that was used for enrollment and number of school counselor variables produced a positive correlation between the number of school counselors and whether the student visited the counselor for college information.

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